Tetra launches controversial bottle

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Tetra has launched a new bottled product that it says will allow the fishkeeper to add fish on the same day as purchasing their aquarium.

The new SafeStart treatment, sold with the tagline "Enables instant introduction of fish" was launched last month at the Interzoo trade fair in Germany.

When added, SafeStart is claimed to keep nitrite 10 times lower and ammonia 14 times lower than other bacterial cultures on the market.

This is said to virtually eliminate the ammonia and nitrite spikes that commonly occur in maturing aquariums, which means that fish can be stocked much earlier.

Nitrospira-basedTetra says that it has spent years researching SafeStart, and has based the product on Nitrospira bacteria, rather than the usual Nitrobacter seen in most competing products.

A similar product, MarineLand's BioSpira, which is also based on Nitrospira cultures, was launched in 2002 in the USA.

This product came as a result of Dr Timothy Hovanec's molecular studies on the nitrifiers, which was the first to identify that Nitrospira was the main bacteria responsible for nitrification in aquaria.

Hovanec's previous studies have identified that most aquarium maturation products are ineffective as they are based on the wrong types of bacteria.

BioSpira requires refrigeration, but Tetra claims that SafeStart can be kept for 12 months at room temperature and still remain effective.

The product will be available in 50ml and 100ml bottles and is due to go on sale in the UK soon.